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Eating Disorders Essay

2163 words - 9 pages


Eating Disorders

Connie DePlonty

Bay Mills Community College



We have all heard the typical stereotypes of the “perfect body.” Who has a perfect body and what does it look like? Are all girls supposed to be tiny and twig-like, and are all guys supposed to have washboard abs? No, and if this were true, that is how we all would have been created. According to the NEDA website (2014) “everyone is different, and that is what makes people interesting, if everyone were the same then we would have no ...view middle of the document...

It was not until the last part of the 20th century that eating disorders started to make an appearance. The first descriptions of anorexia nervosa were recorded in the 12th and 13th centuries. During this time, women were accused of witchcraft and other ritualistic behaviors resulting in imprisonment and other extreme forms of punishment. Consequently the term “wasting disease” was used to explain the symptoms associated with nutritional deficiencies and starvation, as a result, of these punishments. The purpose of this research paper is to look at the main cause of eating disorder in teenagers and young adults and explore the history, diagnostic criteria, signs and symptoms and possible treatment options.

We will begin with the most common eating disorder, Anorexia nervosa. The causes of anorexia are complex, and no single factor has been identified. The actual cause of the disorder appears to result from many factors, including those that are genetic, media and social influences, parental behaviors, psychological factors and negative family interaction.


Parentlink (2008) describes anorexia as a disease where the individual person starves himself/herself even though he/she is hungry and is seen to be very thin. The main characteristics of an anorexic person would be a deliberate and prolonged restriction of calorie and/or food intake followed by considerable weight loss. Anorexics also have an intense fear of gaining weight and will go to extremes to keep from gaining weight. As a result of the food restriction, anorexics are often hungry and have a preoccupation with food. In addition to the need to lose weight, Anorexics also have a disturbed view of body image and continue to see themselves as overweight. There are many other characteristics that describe the physical and mental behaviors associated with this disease.

Another type of eating disorder referred to as Bulimia nervosa is the complete opposite of anorexia. It is not surprising that bulimia is a more common problem among young adults and teens. “ Bulimia is often described as periods of compulsive eating followed by forced vomiting or the use of laxatives. Binge eating is common among dieters but when it occurs more than two times a week over a period of 3 months, it is considered abnormal. As with the anorexics, bulimics are obsessed with their weight, although they are more in the normal weight ranges than anorexics. The eating patterns for bulimics are described as eating large amounts of food, usually during a specific period, for example within a 2-hour period. They experience a feeling of losing control or unable to stop eating or monitor the amount they are eating. Bulimics then feel guilty over the amount of food they have consumed and this overwhelming feeling of guilt


causes them to purge or use other means to rid themselves of the...

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